7.8/10
1,241
10 user 3 critic

Family Life (1971)

A teenage girl suffers a nervous breakdown.

Director:

(as Kenneth Loach)

Writers:

(play), (screenplay)
Reviews
6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sandy Ratcliff ... Janice Baildon
... Mr. Baildon
Grace Cave ... Mrs. Baildon
... Tim
Hilary Martin ... Barbara Baildon
Michael Riddall ... Dr. Donaldson
... Mr. Caswell
Johnny Gee ... Man in Garden
Bernard Atha
Freddie Clemson
Alec Coleman
Jack Connell
Ellis Dale
Terry Duggan
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Storyline

A 19 years old London girl received agressive psychiatric treatments for her schizophrenic behaviour by a doctor who still wants her family to insure the guard of the child without any regards to the facts that it is this family who's agravating her situation. Written by Jean-Marie Berthiaume <jiembe@videotron.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A story of real people and feelings. Without make-up. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 February 1972 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Wednesday's Child  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Bille August cites "Family Life" as one of his greatest influences. See more »

Connections

Remake of The Wednesday Play: In Two Minds (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Down by the River
(uncredited)
Written by Neil Young
Sung in the therapy group
See more »

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User Reviews

Who's making this code of living?
11 April 2016 | by See all my reviews

Forced by her parents to abort her unborn child, a teenager suffers a nervous breakdown and is taken to a psychiatrist, but the effectiveness is limited as her parents refuse to accept blame in this unpleasant yet encapsulating human drama from Ken Loach. With a cast of non-professional and first time actors, Loach manages to elicit some very down-to-earth performances and there are several memorable moments throughout as the girl struggles to cop with her loss. At one point, she draws a replacement child on her stomach with tears coming out of its eyes; at another point, she takes to deliriously spray-painting plants and trees blue as a form of expression. The film loses focus at times though with side scenes in which the hospital staff debate whether her psychiatrist's unconventional approach to therapy is worthwhile. The dialogue is also a tad problematic as the psychiatrist tends to lecture the parents at length, however, the girl's mother and father are given several great lines, most notably a flippant "who's making this code of living?" in regards to 1970s permissiveness. Other memorable quotes include "everyone's a bit peculiar" and "control is the answer" as the girl tries to ascertain whether she knows best or her parents do. This in turn is where the key strength of the film lies: the struggle of a youth to become independent when all she has ever known is dependency on her parents.


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